In April of 2002, a month shy of my 14th birthday, I created my very first “dream journal.” It’s a 70 page green spiral bound Mead notebook with magazine clippings glued to the front, ransom letter style. Featured prominently is the phrase, “A GIRL CAN DREAM.” In this notebook, with my perfect middle-school handwriting, I fantasized about what my life was going to be. I would move to Hollywood, go on auditions, become a huge actress, and marry Hayden Christensen (because he was so hot in Star Wars, duh). I listed my potential acting resume, I thought about how to handle rejection, and how to be supportive to friends when they faced rejection. “There is one thing I need to conquer: rejection,” I wrote, “For Laffin’ School, I was so crushed because I was casted an additional. And for the first time, I considered quitting acting! Which makes me think, is Emily thinking the same thing? I hope not! Just because she wasn’t casted in Scars (aka the movie) doesn’t mean her chances of becoming famous are cut short.” I thought about all the potential young hollywood actors I would meet and how deeply they would all fall in love with me.
There is something that happened between 2002 and 2015. Simply put, I grew up. But in that growing up process, I stopped dreaming in the same capacity I did as an 8th grader. My dreams became more grounded, I wanted to find a good college, I wanted to find a good job, I wanted to find a good partner. I would dream about promotions and ways to improve my efficiency at work. I would dream about my credit card points and how long it would take before I could take a vacation. I would dream about the courses available next semester and what kind of radio show I would be hosting at our student radio station. I would dream of writing a really good song that would get stuck in everyone’s head.
Now these aren’t bad dreams to have. But they’re not as exciting as the prospect of moving across the country to become a famous actress. These dreams aren’t surrounded by that “go big or go home” mentality. These dreams are easy.
My goal with this blog is to start looking into the life I want to live. While it’s not as simple as “I want to be a famous actress!” I think with careful reflection and connection, I can start to uncover the path that will lead me there. Over the past couple of years in various other journals strewn all over my house I have reflected on several dreams. I want to keep a running list of these dreams and start putting down the foundation to reach them.
On April 29, 2002 I made a list of the things I wanted to accomplish before I was 25. This list included being in a major motion picture, making Teen People’s Hottest Stars Under 25, date a hot celebrity, write an autobiography, buy an awesome car, and move to Los Angeles.
Teen People is now defunct, but at least I made it to Los Angeles.
What dreams are you chasing? Are you still chasing the dreams you had as a kid?